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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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very considerable improvement in census and vital statistics and their analysis. Public education and debate should be encouraged as soon as possible. Trial programs should be initiated and carefully evaluated. A nationwide organization must be developed, which will function differently in cities than in rural areas. Accurate record-keeping is important, but it should not be pushed too hard at first, nor should quotas and other high-pressure devices be used until a satisfactory methodology has been developed and success seems assured. The program must not move very much faster than the people whom it serves. Their attitudes, values, prejudices, and lack of information must be treated with respect and compassion.
Fertility control policies can be effective only if they change the reproductive behavior of many individual couples. To a large extent in the less developed countries this calls for the efforts of thousands of well-trained, knowledgeable, front-Line workers in continuing personal contact with individual men and women in tens of thousands of villages and towns. The problems are somewhat like those of agricultural extension services in changing the agricultural practices of small, independent farmers, and quite different from those of malaria control or mass innoculation programs, which require a minimum of personal contacts. Much of the work is pedestrian, involving meticulous attention to detail and the expeditious solving of day-to-day problems as they arise. Yet the reduction of birth rates in Taiwan and South Korea during the last few years is in considerable part the result of such patient, careful efforts by people at all levels in family planning than are available in the country.